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Anzisha Prize applications now open

By , ITWeb
Africa , 17 Feb 2020

Anzisha Prize applications now open

The Anzisha Prize, Africa's premier award and fellowship for Africa's youngest entrepreneurs, has announced that the 2020 call for applications is open.

The Prize is delivered by African Leadership Academy in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation.

Organisers are looking to "fundamentally and significantly increase the number of job generative entrepreneurs in Africa."

A statement from organisers says that every year, the prize celebrates 20 African entrepreneurs, aged 22 years and younger, each of whom has a chance to win a shared prize of US$100,000.

The grand prize winner receives US$25,000, the 1st runner-up US$15,000, and 2nd runner-up US$12,500. Every finalist receives US$2,500.

Young African entrepreneurs between the ages of 15-22 years old, who are running job generative businesses, are encouraged to apply before 31 March 2020.

"In addition to the cash prize, selected entrepreneurs will join 120 previous winners and become Anzisha Fellows, receiving business consulting support and coaching services by a team of industry experts. They also gain access to the Young Entrepreneurs Fund – a catalytic matching fund designed to strengthen the credibility of very young entrepreneurs through investment," the organisers stated

Melissa Mbazo-Ekpenyong, Deputy Director of the Anzisha Prize, said, "It has been an exciting 10-year journey with some of the continent's brightest and youngest entrepreneurs. With the help of key partners and those who share in our vision, we've been able to support and celebrate very young entrepreneurs who represent the diversity of the African continent; entrepreneurs who tackle youth unemployment with vigour and courage beyond their years."

To celebrate the decennial, the Anzisha Prize has planned five regional events across the continent, including South Africa, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, and Kenya.

The events end in October with the Anzisha Prize Forum in Nairobi, Kenya where the 2020 winners will be announced. Each event is designed to catalyse conversations around youth entrepreneurship and to gather key stakeholders within the entrepreneurship landscape to collaborate with and support these young entrepreneurs.

Daniel Hailu, Regional Head Eastern and Southern Africa Programs, Mastercard Foundation, added, "The Anzisha Prize has grown to become a holistic and comprehensive prize program that celebrates, nurtures, and advocates on behalf of Africa's young job creators. Ensuring young entrepreneurs have a clear pathway to learn and succeed is a core component of the Mastercard Foundation's Young Africa Works strategy, and we encourage entrepreneurs, especially young women to apply."

Past winners of the prize include 2019 grand prize winner, education entrepreneur, Yannick Kimanuka from Democratic Republic Congo (DRC).

According to organisers, Yannick grew up in the war-torn North Kivu eastern Province of DRC where she saw the effect that conflict had on schools in her community and vowed to empower children by increasing access to quality education. By the age of 20, Yannick founded KIM's School Complex - a nursery and primary school which aims to improve the education of young children in her community.

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